META was founded thanks to UNESCO’s funding in 2003, to enhance the potential and expand tourism in the Eastern Pamirs. Its objectives are to:
- Develop and support community-based tourism activities that educate community members and tourists to build capacity and increase knowledge of biodiversity, traditional culture and the flora & fauna of the East Pamir;
- Maximize benefits to the local communities by developing linkages between tourism and other businesses related to the sustainable management of natural resources and livestock breeding in the local economy.
Over the past few years META moved into tourism operations as funding from outside sources stopped. In April 2012, the members of META held an extraordinary general meeting to restructure their organisation. META members have boldly decided to return META’s scope to its original objectives of tourism development, ceasing all commercial tour operations with immediate effect.
META’s new Executive Team provides the META association with a breadth of experience from all aspects of the tourism sector along with a depth of knowledge of the sector and the social and environment aspects of the region itself:
- Januzak Turdukulov, President of META, driver and guide
- Gulnara Apandieva, Executive Director of META, translator
- Saidali Gaibuldaev, owner of Pamir Guides,
- Junus Jupovs, a home-stay provider from Murghab
- Ismail Joshbaev, a representative of the ‘tour driver’ community